Thursday, August 26, 2010

Maybe the Caliphate is a dream?

Written by Ammar Doosh

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem,

Muslims worldwide aspire for unity and the return of the Islamic Caliphate. As recent surveys show the majority of Muslims in some of the major Muslim countries want a Caliphate.

But does a 21st century Caliphate have any chance of being established or are Muslims just dreaming?

You can read what the ‘experts’ say here and what a ‘leading journalist’ says here. I have summarised the main points below.

The Muslim world is too diverse. Different languages, customs and traditions
Nationalism is too deeply rooted
Sunni / Shia differences
Muslim rulers prefer to live separately in nation states

The Muslim world is too diverse with different languages, customs and traditions

It’s true there are multitudes of languages, foods, clothing and other customs prevalent in the Muslim world. But this diversity is meaningless when it comes to the political system ruling the country. Political systems do not develop from people eating the same food or being the same colour skin. They develop from adopting economic, political and social legislation to govern the society. In most of the Muslim world today the political system derives from western constitutions such as the French constitution which became a basis for many Muslim countries after their independence.

Taking Iraq as an example. Many Kurds long for an independent Kurdish state. But the problem in Iraq as elsewhere in the Muslim world is not one of ethnicity but rather the governing system. Saddam Hussein not only oppressed Kurds but he brutally tortured and murdered thousands of his own people whether Kurd, Arab, Sunni or Shia. He even executed his two son-in-laws!

The underlying culture of the Kurdish people is Islamic. They share the same Islamic culture as the rest of the Muslims whether in Turkey, Iraq or elsewhere. The most famous Kurd in history was Salahudeen Ayyubi. He is honoured not just by Kurds but by all Muslims, from all ethnicities, because of his liberation of Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam.

Moreover is there anything in the sharia (Islamic law) that cannot be implemented on a person due to his ethnicity?

Muslims throughout the world pray five times a day, fast in Ramadan, give charity and go for the pilgrimage to Makkah. They get married, educate their children, fight to defend their lands from occupation, pay taxes, establish companies and punish criminal behaviour.

Nationalism is too deeply rooted

“Incidentally, try selling a Pakistani Caliph to a Bangladeshi...” as one journalist said. The Caliph is not a Pakistani Caliph or a Bengali Caliph or an Arab Caliph for that matter. He is a Muslim Caliph who heads the Islamic State. It’s true if a leader claims a particular nationality then people of another nation won’t follow him. But if a leader claims to represent the interests of Islam the entire Muslim world will follow him.

Bengali’s and Pakistani’s are all Muslim. During the devastating earthquake in Pakistan, Muslims in Bangladesh and throughout the world sent $millions to help the victims.

Ordinary Muslims do not recognise these artificial borders drawn up by the western powers. They are one people who share the same Islamic culture. The Islamic concept of Umma (Islamic nation) runs deep. Its also a major problem for western powers conducting their colonial foreign policy since support for the resistance to their occupation not only comes from the indigenous population but from all corners of the Muslim world.

Nationalism is an outdated concept that took root in the Muslim world during its declined period in the 19th century. Nowadays with globalisation and modern communications nationalism and racism are being consigned to the dustbins of history.

Sunni / Shia differences

There is much talk of a Shia crescent being formed in the Muslim world with Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran uniting against the other Sunni states in the region. The civil war in Iraq is also painted as a Sunni Shia conflict.

I have already partially addressed the issue here but to do justice to the subject a more detailed analysis will appear in a later article.

The Sunni Shia schism has been hyped out of all proportions by those powers within the Muslim world and outside who are seeking to make political gain from it. There was never a problem between Sunni and Shia before the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Now there is a civil war. The cause is clearly not the Sunni Shia schism but the occupation government in Iraq that was set up along ethnic and sectarian lines. Each grouping has its own militias that are now fighting for their own selfish political interests not for any Sunni or Shia interests.

The victory of Hizbollah in Lebanon was not seen as a shia victory but an Islamic victory supported by Sunni and Shia across the world. Incidentally Hizbollah has the support not only of Muslims but also Lebanese Christians who are standing shoulder to shoulder with them in their peaceful protests to oust the Lebanese government.

Whenever a leader plays the Sunni or Shia card he is doing it for his own selfish political interests. It has nothing to do with Islam. stoking the sectarian flames by Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia is just one more example of their treachery and their complete disregard for the interests of their people and Islam. We should not be surprised by claims that Saudi will arm Sunni militia against Shia in Iraq if America leaves.

Muslim rulers prefer to live separately in nation states

Agreed. The rulers in the Muslim world are some of the worst this world has ever seen. They are also some of the richest people the world has ever seen - having got rich on the backs of their own citizens wealth. Ordinary Muslims want shot of them. Unfortunately, these rulers have friends in high places namely London and Washington. These rulers suppress their people with an iron fist. Islam Karimov in Uzbekistan literally boils alive his political opponents!

Of course these rulers want to live separately and are only concerned with their own selfish political interests. But this cannot last. The Muslim leaders are running scared. Their peoples no longer fear their brutal torture and imprisonment. They are speaking openly against them. Demonstrations have been seen throughout the Muslim world. In Egypt, traditionally the most oppressive county of the Middle East has seen huge opposition amongst politicians, judiciary and the media to Hosni Mubarak’s brutal rule. Unfortunately, Mubarak has a good friend in London – Tony Blair – who regularly holidays in Egypt and has just met with him now to show his support for the Egyptian regime.

Europe only 50 years ago was at war. Now they are united under the EU with a single currency - something unimaginable just a few decades ago. If the EU with its strong nationalism, diverse languages and separate customs can unite, why cant the Muslim world?

Some commentators even in the west can see the possiblility of a Caliphate returning.

Ann Berg discusses from an economic viewpoint the potential power of economic union in the Muslim world. Osama Saeed discusses the potential benefits of a developed Muslim world under a Caliphate.

Is it really a dream for these brutal dictators in the Muslim world to be replaced in a Coup d'état by a representative government?

None of the Muslim leaders were elected by their people save one or two. Many assumed power through a Coup d'état such as General Musharraf of Pakistan. No matter how hard the governments try to suppress Islamic political movements and their culture they cannot stop an idea. The idea of a Caliphate is now deep rooted among the Muslims. It’s slowly rising up through the officer class of the armed forces. It’s only a matter of time before one or more senior army officers in the Muslim world decide enough is enough and do the right thing – removing the current dictator and replacing him with a Caliph.

The armies of the Muslim world should remember that if they do this the entire Muslim world will be behind them and the west will have no power to stop them.

Wal hamdulilahi Rabbil alameen.


Tajikistan said...

Is Caliphate the real Problem? The real Problem is that muslims all over the world are less educated, less productive, and more emotional than the European and other rich nations. They need to get economic progress and then they can choose any system. It Does not matter weather the Khalifa is from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, or Afghanistan. Tajikistan people are heir to great civilization which has ruled the Central Asia rill China, India, and Russia.

UmmMaryam said...

Very informative article, debunking all the fallacies against what is clearly an obligation for the Ummah of Mohammad peace be upon him. Will the muslim Ummah go down the path like the banu israel of before, no state, no power, oppression and so just compromise our Islam and only fold our hands and wait for Imam Mahdi?